Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/226
218 Southern Historical Society Papers.
strike off across the country, cut the railroads and telegraphs north of Baltimore, sweep rapidly around the city, cut the Baltimore and Ohio railroad between Washington and Baltimore, and push on rap- idly so as to strike Point Lookout on the night of the I2th. Cap- tain John Taylor Wood was to be there in an armed steamer which he was to run out of Wilmington. We were to capture the place. I was to take command of the prisoners there, some ten or twelve thousand, and march them up through lower Maryland to Wash- ington, where General Early was to wait for me. The- prisoners were to be armed and equipped from the arsenals and magazines of Washington, and thus reinforced, Early's campaign might be still further aggressive.
I told General Early that the march laid out for me was utterly impossible for man or horse to accomplish; it gave me four days, not ninety-six hours, to compass near three hundred miles, not count- ing for time lost in destroying bridges and railroads, but that I would do what was possible for men to do. Accordingly I started from Hagan's, on the Catoctin Mountains, about daylight on the morning of July 9, 1864, moved across to Worman's Mill, on the Old Liberty road, two miles north of Frederick, and waited until I was satisfied that Early's left flank was free. I was so careful as to communicate my orders only to my Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain George W. Booth; Assistant Inspector- General, Captain Wilson G. Nicholas, of my staff, and Colonel Peters, commanding the Twenty-first Vir- ginia, the ranking officer of the brigade. But this caution probably cost me time, as I made an unnecessary detour in arriving at my ob- jective. I moved through Liberty, New Windsor, Westminster and Reisterstown, reaching the latter place about daylight of the loth. While passing through the latter place a citizen in dishabille was very urgent to be satisfied that the troops were Confederates. At last conviction came upon his doubting- mind to his great delight, which he gave expression to as follows: " Well, I told Jake so; ain't I got it on him ? He thought they would never come, but I always said they would." He was much gratified at his superior sagacity. Some hours after he came to me on the march, begging me to order a horse given back to him, which had been captured by some preda- tory Confederate, " not that he cared for the horse," he said, " but that Jake would have such a rig on him. That his dear Confederates, so long expected and come at last, should take his horse!" He got it back.
We reached Cockeysville, on the Northern Central railroad, about